In the middle ages whatever trade your father was that's what you would become. You could go to the University in Paris to get educated back then. All new students were subject to hazings by the upperclassmen before you were admitted into their fellowship. Classrooms were not very good places to learn, they were run down and filthy. All students had to follow a strict schedule that told them when to eat and sleep. Students in the middle ages had a very difficult time in college, this is because they had to go through numerous types of hazings, had a very challenging class schedule, and learned under harsh conditions. Now days' getting an education as a college student is much easier.
Most hazings take place when joining a club or sport and not upon entering a college. Schachner describes the initiation of freshman as rude and sometimes savage horseplay. The first thing that the upperclassmen would do to the incoming freshman is to offer him a drink, but frequently this drink would contain urine and if he refused to drink it they would use force to make him.
Then they would decide to make this student pleasant to the eyes by pulling hair from his nose and head, and shave his face with a wooden razor. He then had to swallow pills made from the manure of hyenas and other animals. Finally they have a feast and make him use his own money to pay for all of them. Hazings still go on even today in our schools but they are becoming more and more rare because of the strict rules that are being enforced by the authorities.
We live in a computerized world were we can access almost anything with a touch of a button, programs that help us read and write, and teachers specialized in certain areas. Students in the middle ages rarely had any books, so the notes that were taken in class would be all the information that they could rely on. Instead of chairs and desks in class things that we deem a necessity they were given straw-strewn floors were they can sit. Run down shacks were the place of learning. They were always wet with pests running around, no source of heat were in these shacks so during the winter it got extremely cold and just the opposite in the summer. We have the best facilities available in college now; overhead projectors and speakers so that all students can see and hear what is being taught, heating during the winter, and labs were we can do experiments.
Schachner also tells us about the routine that each student had. All students would have to wake up by 4 a.m. and go to bed by 8 p.m. During these hours they had 3 lectures ranging from 1-3 hours, they had to eat and rest when they were told, some meals consisting of only a piece of bread. They weren't allowed to play sports or have any recreational time; the only thing that they did get was twice a week they were able to take a stroll around campus. Students these days have somewhat a similar class schedule, usually people have maybe 3 classes a day and they range from 1-2 hours. But the big difference is we are able to schedule and arrange all of our classes in whatever fashion we desire. And are free to do whatever we want so long as its not breaking any laws.
We are very fortunate to live in the present time and not have to go through the hazings, tough class schedules, and bad learning conditions. Many people complain about how hard classes are and that there are too many strict rules. But in fact compared to the middle ages we are much better off, because of all the technology that we have now.